Fashion Revolution is a not-for-profit global movement with teams in over 100 countries around the world. Fashion Revolution campaigns for systemic reform of the fashion industry with a focus on the need for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Fashion Revolution has designated the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh as Fashion Revolution Day. In 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 millions of people around the world called on brands to answer the question Who Made My Clothes? The hashtag #whomademyclothes became the no.1 global trend on Twitter.
Fashion Revolution was created in 2013 in response to the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh by Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro. Somers and De Castro had worked as fashion designers in the UK for over two decades and saw that the factory collapse could act as a catalyst for change in the industry.
Fashion Revolution Day / Fashion Revolution Week
Fashion Revolution Day takes place annually on 24 April, the anniversary of the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse when 1133 died and over 2500 were injured. In 2016, it expanded into Fashion Revolution Week.
The second Fashion Revolution Day took place on 24 April 2015. The global reach from online news and broadcast media was 16.5 billion and 63 million people from across 76 countries made the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes the number one trend on Twitter The YouTube video The 2 Euro T-Shirt - A Social Experiment had over 6.5 million views and won a Cannes Lions award
In its third year, Fashion Revolution activities took place over a week, from 18-24 April 2016. This first Fashion Revolution Week began with Fashion Question Time at the UK Houses of Parliament. and the launch of the first edition of the Fashion Transparency Index which scored 40 of the biggest global fashion companies on the information they disclose to stakeholders and the public about social and environmental issues across their supply chains.
In 2016's Fashion Revolution Week, events took place in over 90 countries around the world. Over 70,000 people around the world asked brands #whomademyclothes with 156 million impressions of the hashtag on social media. G-Star Raw, American Apparel, Fat Face, Boden, Massimo Dutti, Zara and Warehouse were among more than 1200 fashion brands and retailers that responded with photographs of their workers saying #imadeyourclothes. Fashion Revolution achieved online media reach in April 2016 of 22 billion.
On 26 October 2016, Fashion Revolution's €2 video, A Social Experiment was ranked no. 7 in the top global PR campaigns of the year at the Global Sabre Awards ceremony. The video has received over 7.5 million views.
In its fourth year, Fashion Revolution Week took place from 24-30 April 2017. On Fashion Revolution Day, the second edition of the Fashion Transparency Index was launched, a review of 100 of the biggest global fashion brands and retailers ranked according to how much they disclose about their social and environmental policies, practices and impact. 66,000 people attended around 1000 Fashion Revolution events and there were 533 million impressions of social media posts using one of Fashion Revolution's hashtags during April and over 2000 brands and producer groups responded, answering #imadeyourclothes.
In its fifth year, Fashion Revolution Week will take place from 23-29 April 2018.
During Fashion Revolution Week, hundreds of events take place around the world (and are posted online here). Fashion Revolution has also organised high level roundtable events on ethics, sustainability and transparency in the fashion industry.
26 February 2015: Fashion Question Time in the UK House of Commons with Mary Creagh MP, Lily Cole, Jenny Holdcroft, policy director of IndustriALL Global Union Catarina Midby, Global Head of Sustainable Communications, H&M Dilys Williams, Head, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, and Anas Sarwar.
2 December 2015: EU roundtable and launch of White Paper on transparency 'It's Time for a Fashion Revolution' in Brussels.
During Fashion Revolution Week 2017, 1000 events took place around the country including Fashion Question Time at the Houses of Parliament on 24 April and the launch of Open Studios, a week-long series of events across London, New York, Athens, Prato in Italy, LA and Jakarta.
Fashion Revolution publications & podcasts
Fashion Revolution publishes online a variety of campaign assets, posters, brand guidelines, postcard and letter writing templates, and action kits (for citizens, brands, wholesalers, retailers, distributors, farmers, producers and factories). In addition, it has published the following:
How to be a Fashion Revolutionary(2015) which is 'full of inspiration and ideas about how you can use your voice and your power to transform the fashion industry as we know it'. This is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese and was published as part of a touring Fashion Revolution exhibition and film screenings at UK universities.
Fashion Transparency Index (2016 & 2017) ranks the biggest global fashion companies (40 in 2016, 100 in 2017) according to their level of transparency based on a questionnaire and publicly available information about supply chain issues. The 2016 Index - published in collaboration with Ethical Consumer - is available in English and Spanish, and the 2017 Index is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Money, Fashion, Power (2017) is a zine which comprising 72-pages of poetry, illustration, photography, graphic design and editorial exploring the hidden stories behind our clothing, what the price we pay for fashion means, and how our purchasing power can make a positive difference. Collectible hard copies could be purchased and a free digital version was published online.
Loved Clothes Last (2017) is a zine comprising 124 pages of poetry, illustration, photography, infographics, and packed with articles, tips and interviews exploring the issue of waste and mass-consumption in the fashion industry, and hopes to inspire you to buy less, care more, and know how to make the clothes you love last for longer. Collectible hard copies could be purchased and a free digital version was published online.
Fashion Revolution Podcast series (2017) comprises three 27 minute recordings in which international fashion journalist Tamsin Blanchard speaks to researchers, supply chain experts, garment workers, politicians and activists about the intersection of sustainability, ethics and transparency in the fashion industry.
Garment Worker Diaries (2017-18) is a project by Microfinance Opportunities in collaboration with Fashion Revolution which, over 12 months, visited the same set of garment workers in Bangladesh, India and Cambodia to 'learn what they could earn and buy, how they spend their time each day, and what their working conditions are like'. Its (interactive) research reports and podcast are written to 'advocate for changes in consumer and corporate behaviours and policy changes that improve the living and working conditions of garment workers everywhere'.
The #Haulternative campaign, in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph, features fashion vloggers filming themselves doing an alternative fashion haul. Haulers who participated included CutiePieMarzia Noodlerella, Bip Ling, Grav3yardgirl and Shameless Maya with combined views of 2 million on YouTube.
Schools, colleges and universities
In 2014, Fashion Revolution published a quiz and an education pack for school, college and university teachers and students. These were freely available online.
In 2015, a new quiz and separate education worksheets were produced for primary schools (7-11 years), secondary schools (11-16 years), further education colleges (16-18 years) and universities (18+). These were published in English and translated into Spanish, Finnish and other languages by Country Coordination teams.
To encourage students to 'Be curious, Find Out, Do something' about #whomademyclothes, these worksheets continue to be developed and now include :
- 'Introduction to Fashion Revolution PowerPoint' (Primary - Universities)
- 'Design a Fashion Revolution Poster' (Primary - Universities),
- 'What can I find out about my clothes?' (Primary),
- 'Where are my clothes made?' (Primary),
- 'Write to the person who made my clothes' (Primary),
- 'Research my clothes and write to the brand' (Secondary - FE),
- 'Fashion Revolution Trump Card Game' (Secondary - Universities),
- 'What my jeans say about the garment industry' (Secondary - Universities)
- 'Take a selfie and send it to the brand' (Secondary - University),
- 'Fashion Revolution Annual Quiz' (Primary - Universities) and
- 'Tableau Vivant' (Universities).
In July 2015, a collection of social media postings showing how teachers and students got involved the Fashion Revolution was published on Pinterest, along with a 'who made my clothes?' film library, and a collection of 'imaginative ways in which the work of artists, activists and others can be used to inspire and engage people in the Fashion Revolution'. These continue to be updated.
In August 2016, three sessions were organised at the Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers) conference in London with academic and activist speakers talking to the theme of "Scholar activism and the Fashion Revolution: ‘who made my clothes?’" Session one focused on connecting producers and consumers, session two on slow sustainable fashion in practice and session three on engaging publics.
In June-July 2017, a free 3 week online course called 'Who Made My Clothes' was created in collaboration with the University of Exeter. Run by and featuring members of Fashion Revolution's Global Coordination Team - Ian Cook, Orsola de Castro, Sarah Ditty and Joss Whipple - it encouraged over 8,000 learners worldwide to Be Curious, Find Out and Do Something about the pay and conditions of people working in the global garment industry. The course will run again in June-July 2018.
- Muzaffar, Zareen (27 April 2015). "2 Years Later, Bangladesh's Rana Plaza Debacle Continues to Resonate Globally". The Diplomat.
- Dearden, Lizzie (24 April 2015). "Fashion Revolution Day: #whomademyclothes campaign remembers Rana Plaza disaster". The Independent. London.
- Ayre, Josie (24 April 2015). "It's Fashion Revolution Day! Here's Why It's So Important To Know Where Our Clothes Are Made..." Marie Claire.
- Hepburn, Stephanie (14 April 2015). "Can a hashtag change the fashion industry?". The Guardian.
- "Is Social Media Traceability's New Superman?". Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator. 29 July 2015.
- "Grappling with the True Cost". Style Bubble (Blog).
- "Ketchum, Fashion Revolution and BBDO Group Germany Win Bronze PR Lion at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity" (Press release). PR Newswire.
- "Roundtable debate". Sustainable Fashion. 19 May 2014.
- "Fatal factory collapse must be wake-up call to improve health and safety of supply chain workers". Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.
- "Fashion Question Time at the Houses of Parliament". Fashion Revolution.
- "Lily speaks at Fashion Question Time at the Houses of Parliament". impossible.com.
- Whale, Sebastian (6 July 2015). "IOSH discussion: Towards Ethical Fashion 2020". Total Politics.
- Blanchard, Tamsin (24 April 2015). "Best of the high street's collections". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 2015-04-21.
- Cook, Ian. "Be curious. Find out. Do something". European Year for Development. Retrieved 9 August 2016.